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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 30 August, 2014

‘I think I just need a break from rugby’ – Stephen Ferris on his retirement

The Ulster flanker has thanked the province’s fans and backroom staff on the day he officially hung up his boots.


ON THE DAY that he was forced to officially confirm his retirement from rugby, Ulster and Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris has said he is grateful for all that he achieved in the game.

Speaking to Ulster Rugby TV, Ferris explained that despite two testing years with injury, he will reflect positively on a career that gave him so many rewards.

I was actually 26 when I hurt myself. To achieve a Grand Slam, Lions, 106 caps for Ulster, 35 for Ireland, a lot of players would bite your hand off for that. It’s great to have achieved all of that.

“I just look forward to supporting the guys from the stands… probably with a pint in each hand. I look forward to that and I can look back on my career and say ‘it was a great journey’”.

Ferris admitted that he had taken his life in rugby for granted in his earlier years, before going on to stress his gratitude to the Ulster supporters and backroom staff, who worked so tirelessly on his ankle.

Plans for life after rugby

Stephen Ferris 3/6/2014

Ferris signs the Ulster Legends wall at Ravenhill.

Source: Andrew Paton/INPHO

As for his plans in the near future, the 28-year-old is unsure.

It’s hard to go, ‘this is what I want to do.’ I didn’t really go and study and go ‘I want to be a doctor, I want to be that.’ I was never smart enough to be a doctor anyway! I think I just need a bit of a break from rugby.

“I need to get a break from rugby. It’s actually not a bad time, because Ulster don’t have games coming up. I just need to get away and get the head showered and not think about the game.

“I’ve just been thinking about getting back playing, how’s my ankle going to react. You go down to the shop to get a loaf of bread, ‘how’s the ankle, how’s the ankle?’ I just need to switch off, clock off and relax and let it all sink it. Because it definitely hasn’t sunk in yet.”

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